June 18, 2008

Throughout his life, Churchill’s quarrel was with tyranny. Almost certainly he saved Western civilisation by holding out against Hitler in 1940-41. But he despaired that his great postwar goal of world peace was not achieved in his lifetime. Perhaps no better epitaph exists than the one by Hungarian-American historian John Lukacs:

“He loved life very much; and he made life possible for many of us because he had a very old, and very strong, belief in the possibilities of human decency and of human greatness….In the long and slow and sad music of humanity, he once sounded an English and noble note which some of us were blessed to receive and to remember.”

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